Environmental artist, how to become one?

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Old 03 March 2014   #1
Environmental artist, how to become one?

As you know it takes time to get good at CG arts, it takes a lot of time..
I am following my "dream" of working as an environmental artist for games, and right now i am working on my own terrain, also having to learn several heavy programs like Maya, Photoshop, World Machine, Mudbox, and lastly the combiner of all that, the Cryengine.
Ultimately i want to end up at Bungie, and i need to know what such a huge studio requires from environmental artist?
For example i am facing the challenge of making the trees right now. Should i try making them myself? is that necessary? or can i just use the tree models that come with Cryengine?
Same goes for pretty much all the other assets.
What is expected of an environmental artist in a high quality game studio? Basically is my question.
 
Old 03 March 2014   #2
Plenty of people have gotten jobs without having any trees in their portfolios, so I suppose you could say you don't absolutely need to know how to make trees to get an environment artist job. That being said, just avoiding any areas you find hard is a terrible, terrible way to learn. You learn most efficiently when you're struggling to do something new.

Plus, if you ever run into an art test with a tree in it (very likely) you'd be in quite a bit of a pickle if you don't know how to build one.
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Old 03 March 2014   #3
Originally Posted by Meloncov: Plenty of people have gotten jobs without having any trees in their portfolios, so I suppose you could say you don't absolutely need to know how to make trees to get an environment artist job. That being said, just avoiding any areas you find hard is a terrible, terrible way to learn. You learn most efficiently when you're struggling to do something new.

Plus, if you ever run into an art test with a tree in it (very likely) you'd be in quite a bit of a pickle if you don't know how to build one.


Thanks for the reply
I agree with you strongly on the fact that not doing something challenging is a terrible way to learn. That is exactly why i put this island project in front of myself, the idea was to design and build a (somewhat) game ready island of a big scale (with no prior experience whatsoever). I thought that doing something like this will let me learn all the aspects of terrain creation on the go, as i reach those aspects (like those trees, roads, caves). As of now i have my island terrain in Cryengine all properly set up, and rocks/grass/sand detail textures painted over it (that list of course will expand as i slowly add more materials). And so i was getting ready to start spraying rocks and trees on the island, but realized that it might be too much for the first project. So let me reword the question. if i was to add the Island to my portfolio (i am really working hard on it), does it really bother the employer that some assets on it are not made by me? Even though later on i WILL learn how to make all those things, and will use my knowledge on the other projects to come.
 
Old 03 March 2014   #4
It's ok to have some assets you didn't make in a portfolio piece so long as you clearly identify what you did and didn't do. Obviously it's more impressive to do everything from scratch, and if it just looks like you slapped together existing assets that's not going to make anyone want to give you an environment art job, but filling out a scene with a few pre-made assets is ok if you're honest about it.

I also wouldn't suggest jumping straight into a huge scene as a beginner. It's much better to do something small well than to do something large poorly.
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Old 03 March 2014   #5
Well, lots of natural things are generated proceduraly, I think modeling trees might be a waste of time, as long you don't need a specific shape, or stylized tree.
Actually, this would be a good approach, to make a unique recognizable tree.
You should give higher priority to man-made/ alien-made objects.
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Old 03 March 2014   #6
I am just curious, what was the reason that have made you dream about creating environments for games and why "ultimately" an employee at bunjie, maybe one month after you land your foot at bunjie you will be up for an awful disappointment or it will be out of business or your skills will offer you much better opportunities at other places.

You have infinite potential and willpower. there is nothing you can't do if you ENJOY it enough to be able to dedicate time and effort to.
Is there a particular game that got you hooked? you can use it as an inspiration and start making your own creations, if you love imagining new worlds and universes that you can explore in real-time just start doing that and keep consciously thinking of how to improve your creations.
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